Retailers Navigate Shifting Environmental Regulatory Landscape

By: Matthew D. Williamson
– Chain Store Age
The past decade has witnessed a monumental shift in regulatory oversight of retailers’ environmental compliance programs. As a result, retailers have faced a crash course in the myriad hazardous waste control laws, once widely believed to not be relevant in the retail context.
Historically, most enforcement has been at the state and local level. But in just the past month, we’ve seen a flurry of retail-related activity from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including the following:
  1. A $3.5 million settlement with Whole Foods Market related to allegations of improper hazardous waste handling;
  2. The EPA’s announcement of additional delays in the finalization of its proposed “Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals” rule; and
  3. The announcement of EPA’s new “Retail Strategy” with respect to hazardous waste regulations. 

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